Tech N9ne makes stop in Oshkosh

Jack Tierney, Editor in Chief

Tech N9ne, an underground “chopper” style rapper who calls himself “King of the Night” and wears an anarchy mask on stage is planning a Menominee Nation Arena concert with a set he said he has never performed before.

“I’m at Strange Music headquarters right now thinking of doing something totally different,” he said. “I don’t know what yet, but it won’t be that rock show I’ve been doing out in Europe.”

Tech N9ne (pronounced “nine”) and record label Strange Music come from Kansas City, Missouri, and were created by the same person — Aaron Yates.

He’s 47 years old and has 21 albums released, which have sold more than 2 million copies under his independent hip-hop label that Forbes magazine called twice a “Cash King.”

But distinctly, he’s a rap artist who speaks about pains, paranoia and fragility, asking 56 million followers, “Am I a psycho?”

His stop at Menominee Nation Arena on Oct. 4 is part of his Live 2019 tour.

His latest album release “N9NA” is a 21-track compilation with features from longtime creative partner Krizz Kaliko, who appears on five songs and a three-minute melody “EF U (Easier For You),” a song about suicide prevention.

It’s a reintroduction, he said, “for all the new fans that are coming in and a reintroduction to that bussin’ they love so much.”

Yates is known for his ambition, scheduling 250 shows a year in commitment to his aspirations of “world domination.”

In 1999 he and business partner Travis O’Guine formed the independent hip-hop label Strange Music.

Yates and O’Guine said they knew touring was the only way they were going to make their money, push merchandise, sponsor the label and become established.
The hustle hasn’t left.

“It’s the fans,” Yates explained. “When I see them smiling and having a good time, it makes it worth it.”

The moniker Tech N9ne represents “the complete technique of rhyme,” and “N9NA” follows previous album “Planet,” which was an expression of the world he lives in, completing the story of creator and his planet.

In addition to touring, Yates launched his craft beer Bou Lou in April, named after his song “Caribou Lou.” He said the beer has been stocked and sold out at all his shows but currently is out of season.

Yates surpassed Gucci Mane in 2018 at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 10 list for rap albums since they began counting in 2014.

He said he was an artist ahead of his time. When he colored his hair red, people assumed he worshipped the devil. When he began speaking rapidly over coarse beats, people said they couldn’t understand him.

He is from the middle of everywhere, he said, so that helped make him who he is.

The music industry, and people who influenced music, “didn’t let me be the weird, crazy, one-of-kind artist I had to be,” he said.

“I’m doing more now than I ever have. All these artists who I have worked with, all the fans, being creative, it’s what I love,” he said.

Fans can expect hits “Caribou Lou,” “Am I a Psycho?,” “Hood Go Crazy” and “Like I Ain’t” performed at the arena show.

“I’m in the studio right now creating a set I have never done before. It’s not the rock show I have been doing, but it’s something my technicians will want to see,” he said.

N9NA is streaming everywhere, and the “Kathartic” music video series that “EF U” is on has millions of YouTube views.

The show is nearly sold out. Single-person general admission tickets are $25 before the show and $33 at the door.